I used to be fairly random about selecting and buying tennis shoes. I play tennis a lot, around 10 to 12 hours a week, so my shoes need replacement frequently. Everything was fine until the foot pain began. I realized, at that point, I needed to take a more educated approach to shoe selection. And so began my search for the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis. Man, was that an eye-opener.
What You'll Find in this Article
- Selecting the Right Tennis Shoe
- Criteria to Select Your Plantar Fasciitis Tennis Shoe
- #1. Best Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis -2019
- New Balance MC806 Stability Tennis Shoe
- Prince T22 Tennis Shoes
- ASICS Gel Resolution 7 Tennis Shoes
- K-Swiss Men’s Bigshot Lite 2.5 Lightweight Performance Tennis Shoe
- Adidas Performance Barricade Boost 2016
- Adidas Barricade 7.0
- Adidas CC Rally Comp
- Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour
- K-Swiss Grancourt II SR
- Wilson Rush Pro 2.0
Selecting the Right Tennis Shoe
Once I understood the condition known as plantar fasciitis (it’s actually a misnomer), I found much of the online “help” to be, well, frustrating. There seemed to be a surface treatment of the problem with little discussion of its complexity. Consequently, it was difficult to locate any real solutions.
For example, there are many lists available online of the top 5 or the top 10 (or whatever) best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis. But that’s little help to someone who has plantar fasciitis, and here’s why. This is most decidedly not a one-size-fits-all issue. Rather, it is very much a personal problem and it requires a very personal solution. This is why we have to begin by figuring out what type of pronation you have. Only then can we ascertain which tennis shoes are the best for your plantar fasciitis.
For example, let’s say you have just begun experiencing heel pain. Wanting to be proactive, you find a list online of the “Top ten tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis,” and you purchase the #1 shoe on the list. Seems like you should be just fine, right? Not necessarily.
If your habit is to underpronate and you buy a plantar fasciitis shoe for overpronators you’re going to make your problem worse. Yet both types of shoe are for tennis players with plantar fasciitis. Check out the criteria listed below to better understand this concept.
Criteria to Select Your Plantar Fasciitis Tennis Shoe
To help you select the best tennis shoe for your type of foot pain we use a set of criteria that will match your pronation habits to the shoes with the right features.
1. Pronation: Is the shoe designed for your specific foot pronation pattern?
Neutral pronation, overpronation or underpronation?
- Neutral, or normal pronation: The tennis player pushes off evenly with the front of the foot and lands on the outside of the heel with a slight roll inward. This is the most common type of pronation. Consequently, most shoes meet the requirements for normal (neutral) pronation.
CHECK: If your pronation is neutral, the bottoms of your tennis shoes will be evenly worn down on both outside edges.
- Overpronation: The tennis player places excessive weight on the inside edges of the feet. When playing tennis, the over-pronator will push off primarily on the big toe and the second toe. They will come down on the outside of the heel followed by an exaggerated roll inward.
CHECK: If the inside edges of your shoes are showing excessive wear, then you fall into the category of an overpronator.
- Underpronation (supination): This happens when the player pushes off with the smaller toes. They then land on the outside of the heel and roll forward onto the small toes.
CHECK: If the most wear is on the outside edges this indicates overpronation, also called supination.
2. Arches – Does the arch support of the shoe match the arches on your feet?
Normal arches, low arches or high arches? Abnormally high or low arches will cause the feet to pronate excessively. This is one of the main causes of plantar fasciitis foot pain. Selecting and using a tennis shoe that provides cushioning for your specific arches appropriately is critically important. Correct cushioning stabilizes the foot both when you’re placing high-stress demands on it or just standing still. This stability will reduce the impact on the plantar which causes your foot pain.
3. Stability – Does the shoe provide support for lateral movement? Tennis shoes and running shoes differ in this respect. Running only need to provide heel-to-toe support whereas tennis shoes require a high amount of lateral stability. This is important even with neutral pronation but critically important for over and underpronation.
4. Motion Control – This is an extension of the shoe’s stability. Motion control features will correct the problematic pronation through the use of roll bars and heel counters. These features on the shoe will prevent the foot from engaging in abnormal pronation patterns.
5. Cushioning – Is the cushioning deep and firm? This is an important feature which absorbs the shock created by quick movements on the tennis court. And just as important, it also provides comfort, like packing material around your foot that protects it from damage.
o 6. Weight – Is the shoe lightweight? One of the simplest and most obvious ways to lower the stress on the feet is to require less heavy lifting of them. Any tennis shoe for plantar fasciitis must, therefore, be as light as possible. However, in the case of a tennis shoe, the materials must not be so light as to reduce the support on side-to-side movements.
This is one of the reasons that a running shoe is not suitable for the tennis court. Running shoes only require high levels of support for forward movement. Tennis shoes require the support for extreme lateral movements as well.
7. Reviews – What do tennis players with plantar fasciitis say about the shoe? We tally the reviews from a variety of websites to arrive at an average rating for the shoes based on consumer feedback. For convenience, we use the same five-star system that you will find on Amazon.
So, now that we’ve taken care of business, let’s use this information to match you up with the right tennis shoe for your plantar fasciitis pain.
#1. Best Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis -2019
New Balance – For Normal & Moderate Overpronation
* New Balance 1080V9
The New Balance 1080V9 is an excellent shoe for runners with normal pronation or mild to moderate over-pronation. New Balance has listened to runners and made some big improvements to the 1080 with this version.
They’ve increased the mesh upper and added a firmly padded heel – resulting in more security. Keeping your foot comfortably locked in is a key element for mitigating heel pain.
They’ve also added more fresh foam in the midsole and increased the depth of the engravings on the lateral side. The added flexors on the bottom of the shoe solve the stiffness problems of the earlier versions of 1080. Now there is a comfortable flexibility from heal to toe. That’s going to give you a super-plush feeling in the long runs.
This running shoe has neutral cushioning. Consequently, runners report elimination of heel pain in mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis. The fit is secure and snug, providing a lot of support. This is an essential feature for those with plantar fasciitis. The fabric lining provides additional comfort for a better feel against the foot.
Pronation: Neutral. Suitable for mild to moderate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Arches: Outside of the heel, with roll inward (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.
Stability: Even distribution from the front of the foot.
Cushioning: Normal to moderately low arches
Avg. Weight: Moderate | 9.2 women’s, 10.9 men’s (excellent)
Review Summary: Average 4.5 out of 5 stars from 800 reviews
I know, I know. New Balance makes the best looking person look dorky. But this list isn’t about looking cool, it’s about keeping you safe and free of Plantar Fasciitis. Plus, this pair is very reasonably priced. So, this shoe takes the top of the list. Its design gives you shock absorption as well as an “S-curved” sole for stability. It is breathable as well with mesh. This pair will support you as you move laterally and gives you traction, both of which should reduce the tension on your heel. This should make all the difference in the world. The MC806 also can be bought in medium, wide, and extra wide, so there is no excuse to not find a great fit!
Alright, so right off the bat, these aren’t exactly the most appealing of looks either. But there are many options to choose from, and they don’t look awful. But getting past that, these are shoes that can help those that already have heel pain and just simply can’t go a day without being on the courts. They have great ventilation for your feet on those hot days as well as good traction systems for running crosscourt. They are also very high quality and durable, which isn’t always the case in shoes. These can be reasonably priced, but they also can get expensive depending on where you purchase them from They are definitely worth a look!
ASICS is a VERY underrated brand in the shoe market, buried and overlooked because of the big boys. But this pair of shoes not only looks great, but they help you play better and feel better out on the court. For a shoe on the higher end of the price spectrum, you get a range of color choices as well their signature gel and shock absorbing midsole that will help protect your heels. These are also very cushioning despite all of the durability that is also built in, so it gives you the best of both worlds. For an added bonus, it has memory foam that takes the form of your foot (heel), which greatly reduces the stress on you!
If you’re anything like me, you probably thought K-Swiss was just a designer for casual wear. Well, we’d both be wrong on that one! K-Swiss presents a moderately priced model for sale here that looks great and plays great on the court. A cool aspect that I noticed right off about this pair of shoes is that they have a heel grip which grips your socks to the back of the shoe, which minimizes slippage. This can be crucial in not only preventing Plantar Fasciitis but all kinds of other injuries. Its rubber outsole protects from abrasions of any kind and helps make them more durable. These look kind of like basketball shoes and have that comfort as they have a padded tongue and a snug fit.
Well, if you only care about looking cool, this is what you’ll buy. These look exceptional, but they can get quite expensive as well. Keep in mind, you’re paying for the brand that is Adidas there. Nonetheless, these are great shoes for playing as well. These are great for those that are already dealing with Plantar Fasciitis as well because of they support you by providing comfort and shock absorption. The foam used to reduce the shock to your joints is also breathable and it holds up over time. They have a heel stabilizer system that is used in conjunction with a torsion system, which allows you to move your toes and feet freely while still being secured!
A little more of a classic look from Adidas this times come from the Barricade 7.0. It is priced more toward the medium range than the above pair and is specifically for people who have narrow feet. Adidas does have a long history with running narrow, so if you do have wide feet, you need to look elsewhere or you will cause yourself problems. The thing that sticks out most about these is the soles are specially curved to fit your feet into them snugly while also minimizing and/or preventing pain. Well worth a look for sure!
Coming in a number of colors and for a very reasonable price, this pair of Adidas shoes differs from the other two, but still can help you with your pain or pain prevention. These are very lightweight shoes that can help you fly around the court and they are great for people with high arches. They absorb shocks through this system of high arch support and they also give you breathability as well. There is little room, however, for custom inserts to be put in, so keep that in mind when considering this great pair!
With the highest-priced entry on the list so far, Nike brings a lot to the table. They have a number of colors to choose from, much like Adidas without the three stripes, and have an ingenious adaptive fit that contours specifically to you. That means each pair is a custom fit pair! Because of this, your heels and feet are protected. They also have great cushioning and Roger Federer loves them, so this may be your new pair!
The name probably is meant to tip us off that these aren’t going to look great, but they serve a great purpose. These are reasonably priced and offer up a non-slip option for players who want to play in wet conditions. Once again, this is a shoe for people with high arches. They are also very durable as the shocks keep the insole intact for longer than it would otherwise. They also great cushioning which gives you increased comfort, which is always a good thing when combating Plantar Fasciitis.
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To combat Nike and Adidas for the title of the “coolest” look, Wilson comes in with a pair of shoes that can get pretty expensive. A mix of mesh and leather, these shoes offer stability and breathability at the same time. In addition to this, they have a snug fitting heel while still providing you room to move your toes in the front. They also have great heel support, so you should be covered there!